Chinese tea chain Heytea, dubbed the “Starbucks of China” for its ubiquity there, opened its first overseas outlet at Ion Orchard last week (November 10). They are famous for being purportedly the first brand in the world to offer cheese foam-topped tea that attracted queues of up to a whopping seven hours in China.

You probably still remember the uproar that local bubble tea chain Liho created when they first introduced their cheese teas here. Heytea’s launch in Singapore saw a snaking two-hour queue at Ion Orchard. Not as long as China’s, but hey, that’s two lunch breaks just to buy a cup of tea.

Unlike joints that specialise in milk-based drinks like recent Taiwanese import Tiger Sugar, Heytea serves mainly pure tea or fruit-infused tea. The only dairy ingredient you’d find here is the cheese foam. Hurrah for lactose-intolerant folks.

The spiel here is on its all-natural, fresh ingredients used. For instance, the oolong tea leaves used here are supplied exclusively by a tea plantation in Taiwan (thanks to its climate, Taiwan is well-known for its oolong tea leaves production). You can customise the size of your drink, as well as the sugar level. Natural rock sugar is used here, instead of the unhealthier white sugar.

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